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Complaints and Enforcement

Making a Complaint

To make a complaint about noise that you would like investigated, phone Council on 07 884 0060.
Afterhours calls are directed to a noise control officer via an answer phone. Please wait for the “Noise” option and follow the instructions given.

Having as much information available as possible will assist our officers to provide a better service. Please be patient and answer as many questions as you can.

When can I make a noise complaint?

Council responds to noise complaints 24 hours, 7 day a week.  It's a common misconception that we can't take noise enforcement action outside of certain hours (such as before 10pm).

Who responds to noise complaints?

Calls received between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday are investigated by one of Council’s Monitoring Officers who are based in Te Aroha. Any calls received outside of these times are forwarded to Councils afterhours noise contractor, Allied Security.
We understand there will always be a need for Council involvement in disputes between neighbours. However, Council involvement may not always result in the best result for all parties involved in the dispute. We would much prefer to see a district where all of the residents consider the effects their activities may be having on their neighbours, and in some cases, where residents are more tolerant of the varying ways people live their lives.

How are noise complaints enforced?

Council has two main ways of dealing with noise that has been assessed as excessive:

A verbal warning

Verbal warnings are usually the first step in the enforcement process. A verbal warning is given to the person/s responsible for the noise and/or the occupier of the property that the noise is coming from. If the instructions given as a verbal warning are complied with, no further action will be taken.

An 'Excessive Noise Direction'

An Excessive Noise Direction can be issued on the first visit at the discretion of the attending officer. However, if the person/s responsible or the occupier is cooperative, officers will generally issue a verbal warning in the first instance. Any breach of an Excessive Noise Direction within 72 hours of the notice being issued will result in the officer, accompanied by the Police, either seizing or rendering inoperative the equipment responsible for the noise. A fee of $150 must be paid to Council before any seized equipment is returned. Council can refuse to return seized equipment if they think returning the equipment is likely to result in the excessive noise starting again.
A breach of an Excessive Noise Direction can also result in Council issuing the person and/or the occupier responsible for the noise with a $500 infringement fine. Excessive Noise Direction notices are issued under Section 327 of the Resource Management Act 1991.